(Dear Readers, Thank you once again for your feedback and comments. They are a never-ending source of inspiration and motivation for me!)
How many of us have busied ourselves with the never-ending task of trying to please others?
There’s a popular saying that goes something like this : “I can only please one person a day. Today isn’t your day. Tomorrow doesn’t look good either.” And then there’s : “You will never please all of the people, all of the time.” (Or even half of the people, half of the time, right?)
So, why do so many of us strive to do the impossible? Why do we try to please everyone else, usually leaving ourselves last or not figured into the equation at all?
Personally, I have realized that I am a ‘people pleaser’. I like people to feel happy and pleased with me and the decisions I make. I like to feel, and to have them feel, “comfortable”. Yes, sometimes even to the point of making sure that everyone else is comfortable, before thinking of myself.
But what happens when people aren’t pleased? What if they aren’t comfortable? What happens if I’m singing a different tune than the choir is used to? What do I do when I’m singing soprano in an alto world?
At some point, there comes a time when we need to realize that stepping out of our comfort zone may ‘displease’ people for a bit. We not only need to realize the reality of that, but we need to become ok and comfortable with it as a fact. Sometimes others are resistant to concepts that are different, things that are out of the realm of their “ordinary” and “normal”, because they don’t completely understand. They might feel like we are “rocking the boat” on them. They may have a hard time accepting that our voice is different than the one they are used to. We may, knowingly or unknowingly, be challenging them to think differently about their own ideas. We may also struggle with the box or the mold that others have placed us in, however lovingly; the idea of how they want us to be, to act, to think, to write, to sing, etc. Dealing with that struggle is part of the learning process for us and for them.
The truth is that we all have gifts and qualities that have been given to us, sometimes it just takes a while to realize them. We may discover our gifts, or fine-tune them, and realize that they have changed us, or changed our thinking, in some way. Our voice may change from alto to soprano. We may want to sing out with those gifts, even if it means that other people may not be immediately happy with our melody. That just means that we may have to help them to understand the reasons why our voice has changed. Once we are able to understand the things that we don’t, the fear of the “unknown” or the “uncertain” diminishes.
Be patient. Have faith. Don your Kevlar and fasten it securely. Sing with your God-given voice in whatever range it may be. The choir will adjust and sing on, your voice will find its part, and the song will be beautiful.